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  1. #16
    Registered User Luke_B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loerwyn View Post
    Well, I guess you're right about it being purist. Perhaps in the future it'll be more open?
    Remember it's only a beta, so there's content that will be added to the final release. Even after this, the site will be continually updated and improved, as far as I'm aware. I heard an interview that Clute gave in which he mentioned that the Encyclopedia of Fantasy might be bolted on at one stage. But really, given the amazing amount of content already on the site, it seems a bit ... I don't know ... petty maybe to criticise it for one or two arguably minor exclusions.

  2. #17
    Registered User Loerwyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luke_B View Post
    Remember it's only a beta, so there's content that will be added to the final release. Even after this, the site will be continually updated and improved, as far as I'm aware. I heard an interview that Clute gave in which he mentioned that the Encyclopedia of Fantasy might be bolted on at one stage. But really, given the amazing amount of content already on the site, it seems a bit ... I don't know ... petty maybe to criticise it for one or two arguably minor exclusions.
    But the thing is a lot of sci-fi and fantasy crosses over. If they're excluding mixed works, then that's a massive chunk of work not represented.

    I'm not criticising it as I do realise it's still a work in progress, but some sort of SFF/SFFH merger would probably work very well as all three tend to be linked in some form.

  3. #18
    Registered User Werthead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loerwyn View Post
    But the thing is a lot of sci-fi and fantasy crosses over. If they're excluding mixed works, then that's a massive chunk of work not represented.
    I think their approach is that putting elements if fantasy into a work of SF makes it a fantasy, and thus should be covered in the encyclopedia of fantasy, not SF. The print version of the fantasy encyclopedia had a lot of terms for this kind of thing: rationalised fantasy, science fantasies etc.

    The problem is that the SFE has already had to compromise a bit: the Star Wars movies have numerous fantasy elements but are covered in the SFE. Tad Williams' Otherland series is also very much a rationalised fantasy, but due to the way it works (all of the fantasy elements happen inside a VR computer programme) it can be categorised as a work of SF (as indeed it is in the SFE, alberit with a 'coming soon' entry). So there's some squinting and handwaving going on (and what's up with the Matrix movies not having an entry at all?).

    A combined SFF encyclopedia is probably the way forwards. But it'll take years and years to get to that point

  4. #19
    Science-Fantasy Zealot symbolhunter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Werthead View Post
    I don't think that's good enough for the SFE editors. Terry Brooks and Robert Jordan have just as many - if not more - SF nods in their fantasies than MCN and neither of them get a mention either. Even Jack Vance's entry gives only a nod to The Dying Earth sequence as a precursor to more overt SF works using a similar setting (Book of the New Sun etc), apparently dismissing it from the SF canon due to the presence of magic.

    The SFE seems to be pretty 'purist' in its approach to entries. I recall the print fantasy encyclopedia being much more relaxed about cross-genre works.
    I have both the Science fiction and Fantasy encyclopedias in print editions. I love them both and use them frequently but they are very different in their approaches. IMO I feel that the Fantasy Encyclopedia is much more oriented to generalised, thematic, discursive and analytical approaches to the genre than its companion. Thus, I tend to use it differently. I enjoy seeing how a particular fantasy theme [e.g. "A thing bought at too high a cost"} is developed. I would like to see more critical analysis of that sort of thing in the Science-fiction Encyclopedia.

    Personally, I don't feel that a "purist" approach to what constitues science fiction is necessarily the more productive approach and would prefer more exploration of "cross-genre works". The problem is where to draw the line. I'm not at all sure what the answer is there.
    Last edited by symbolhunter; October 17th, 2011 at 06:04 PM.

  5. #20
    May I make a suggestion for the online version of the encyclopedia. Currently links to Amazon are created using the title of novels. Thus, Cherryh's Hunter of Worlds is linked via http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_...nter+of+Worlds. As you can test this does not always give the desired result. Simply adding the author's name giving http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_...Worlds+Cherryh is more satisfactory.

  6. #21
    Registered User Luke_B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loerwyn View Post
    But the thing is a lot of sci-fi and fantasy crosses over. If they're excluding mixed works, then that's a massive chunk of work not represented.

    I'm not criticising it as I do realise it's still a work in progress, but some sort of SFF/SFFH merger would probably work very well as all three tend to be linked in some form.
    I'm not a fan of rigorous genre definitions, but I think the issue with a project like this is that, unless your resources are unlimited, you have to set some defined boundaries to your scope. I think we need to keep in mind that all this has been done on a (for lack of a better term) semi-professional basis. Even if resources weren't an issue, you would still need some boundaries given how nebulous genre definitions can be, otherwise the product becomes a mess and loses all utility. For example, where does an author like David Mitchell fit in? Or Kazuo Ishiguro? From one perspective, all fiction is fantasy.

    Having said this, I'm not sure your understanding of the scope is correct, and that cross-over works aren't actually being excluded. I wouldn't take the exclusion of a relatively new writer like Newton to be evidence of this anyway.
    Last edited by Luke_B; October 18th, 2011 at 07:28 PM.

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